Hollywood may celebrate non-traditional family structures on shows like Friends, Single Parents, and Raven’s Home, but the Tinseltown titans’ own families more closely resemble that on Leave it to Beaver.
In a new study, Brad Wilcox and Wendy Wang found that California has a larger share of intact families than the rest of the United States. Three neighborhoods in the heart of Hollywood have a near 0% single parenthood rate. Forty other California neighborhoods, which include some of the most elite and liberal, are composed almost entirely of two-parent families.
Wilcox and Wang note when it comes to family culture, California elites often “talk left but live right.”
When Californians were asked about their public beliefs, 85% of those with a college degree agreed that family diversity, “where kids grow up in different kinds of families today,” should be celebrated. 69% of those without a college education agreed.
When respondents were asked about their personal attitudes, the majority flipped their answers. Almost 70% of those with a college degree agreed, “It’s very important for me, personally, to be married before having my children.”
Hollywood writers and producers, Silicon Valley executives, Ivy League professors, and mainstream journalists promote attitudes in public that are contrary to their private lives.
Hollywood’s feigned denial of the importance of family structure has borne bitter fruit in American society. An intact family of origin – more than a college degree, wealth, or any other opportunity – is the single greatest determinant of future economic success. California influencers who deny the importance of intact families fail to share their formula for success with the public.
Researchers have found that Hollywood’s promotion of progressive values is closely related to higher cohabitation rates, fewer marriages, and greater family instability in the United States.
According to a study by John Iceland, “the effect of family structure grew in importance and became the most significant factor among blacks – not only for poverty, but also for affluence, explaining about a third of the disparity in poverty and affluence in 2015.”
Hollywood elites reap the benefits of two-parent families. Their children are raised in neighborhoods with fewer single parents, enjoy better schools and experience less crime. Kids who grow up in two-parent homes are more likely to have better incomes, higher marriage rates, and lower chances of incarceration than those raised without two parents.
Only 6% of college educated Californians are parents who have never married. Golden State elites have the luxury of praising progressive family values without having to suffer the disadvantages that single-parent families suffer.
American families would be better served if Hollywood stopped exporting bilge and started exporting something that it is pretty good at: maintaining intact families.
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